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PAGE 2 MARKETING Characteristics, goals Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders. Another definition, perhaps simpler and more universal, is the process of moving people closer to making a decision to purchase or repurchase a company's product. Simply, if it does not facilitate a "sale" then it is not marketing. Perhaps the simplest definition of all is that marketing is human activity directed at satisfying needs and wants through exchange processes. The definition claims marketing to be the management process of anticipating, identifying and satisfying customer requirements profitably. Operative marketing involves the processes of market research, new product development, product life cycle management, pricing, channel management as well as promotion. However, marketing is more a process-oriented cross function, not a direct decision maker in these processes. It is one of the company's management tools to ensure that products and services are developed according to market requirements, and that they are profitable. Marketing mix Marketing is the promotion of products, especially advertising and branding. However, in professional usage the term has a wider meaning that recognizes that marketing is customer centered. Products are often developed to meet the desires of groups of customers or even, in some cases, for specific customers. McCarthy divided marketing into four general sets of activities. His typology has become so universally recognized that his four activity sets, the Four Ps, have passed into the language. The Four Ps are: •Product: The Product management and Product marketing aspects of marketing deal with the specifications of the actual good or service, and how it relates to the end-user's needs and wants. •Pricing: This refers to the process of setting a price for a product, including discounts. •Promotion: This includes advertising, sales promotion, publicity, and personal selling, and refers to the various methods of promoting the product, brand, or company. •Placement or distribution refers to how the product gets to the customer; for example, point of sale placement or retailing. This fourth P has also sometimes been called Place, referring to “where” a product or service is sold, e.g. in which geographic region or industry, to which segment (young adults, families, business people, women, men, etc.). These four elements are often referred to as the marketing mix. A marketer can use these variables to craft a marketing plan. The four Ps model is the most useful when marketing low value consumer products. Industrial products, services, high value consumer products require adjustments to this model. Service marketing must account for the unique nature of services. When blending the mix elements, marketer must consider their target market. He must understand the wants and needs of the market (customer), then use these mix elements in formulating appropriate marketing strategies and plans that will satisfy these wants. The mix must also meet or exceed the objectives of the organization. A separate marketing mix is usually crafted for each product offering or for each market segment, depending on the organizational structure of the firm. Procedure for developing a marketing mix is like this:you need two sets of information; a list of important elements that go into the mix, and a list of forces that influence these decision variables. Advertising It is the promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas, usually performed by an identified sponsor. Marketers see advertising as part of an overall promotional strategy. Other components of the promotional mix includepublicity, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion. Atarget audience is the primary group of people that something, usually an advertising campaign, is aimed at appealing to. A target audience can be people of a certain age group, gender, marital status, etc. ( teenagers, females, single people, etc.) A certain combination, like men from twenty to thirty is often a target audience. Other groups, although not the main focus, may also be interested. A target market is the market segment to which a particular product is marketed. It is often defined by age, gender and/or socio-economic grouping. Targeting strategy is the selection of the customers you wish to service. The decisions involved in targeting strategy include: -which segments to target - how many products to offer - which products to offer in which segments There are three steps to targeting: - market segmentation - target choice - product positioning Targeting strategy decisions are influenced by: - market maturity - diversity of buyers` needs and preferences - strength of the competition - the volume of sales required for profitability Sales promotion In marketing, sales promotion is one of the four aspects of promotion. (The other three parts of the promotional mix are advertising, personal selling, and publicity/public relations.) Sales promotions are non-personal promotional efforts that are designed to have an immediate impact on sales. Sales promotion is media and non-media marketing communications employed for a pre-determined, limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability. Examples include: - coupons - discounts and sales - contests - point of purchase displays - rebates - gifts and incentive items - free travel, such as free flights Sales promotions can be directed at either the customer, sales staff, or distribution channel members. Sales promotions targeted at the consumer are called consumer sales promotions. Sales promotions targeted at retailers and wholesale are called trade sales promotions. Some sale promotions, particularly ones with unusual methods, are considered gimmick by many. Public